Holocaust poetry competition launched

People are being invited to write poems which will be read out at Liverpool’s Holocaust Memorial Day service in January 2019.

The theme for this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘Torn from Home’, to mark the 25th anniversary of the start of the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

There are three categories: children at primary school, young people at secondary school and adults aged 19+.

One from each category will be chosen to be read out at Liverpool’s Civic Service for Holocaust Memorial Day taking place in Liverpool Town Hall on Friday 25 January.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Christine Banks – who has written her own poem to mark the occasion – said: “It is vital that on Holocaust Memorial Day we not only remember the millions who died in the Holocaust and subsequent genocides, but also remember the impact that hate crime and prejudice is still having on people from all walks of life to this day.

“Our young people are talented, articulate and eloquent, and I look forward to reading their powerful and thought-provoking submissions.”

A selection of the poems entered will be included in an anthology that will be presented to entrants, schools and libraries in the city.

Liverpool City Council’s lead on Holocaust Memorial Day, Councillor Jeremy Wolfson, a member of the city’s Jewish community, said: “The poetry competition gives our young people an opportunity to reflect on the Holocaust and raise awareness of not only what happened but also to help make sure there is no repeat of it.

“I am sure with the ‘Torn From Home’ theme we will receive some very emotive poems. It’s fantastic that we have a new category this year for adults, building on last years’ competition.

“It gives us an opportunity to reflect on the Holocaust and subsequent genocides and raise awareness of not only what happened but to try and ensure that the attitudes which led to them are not repeated. So get submitting those poems, please tell your friends and colleagues, and good luck.”

Poems should be submitted to: Jeff Dunn c/o Liverpool Town Hall, High Street, Liverpool, L2 3SW or by email at jeff.dunn@si.liverpool.gov.uk by 11 January 2019 – please include your postal address and email address.

The Lord Mayor’s poem: TORN FROM HOME

Armenia … Bosnia … Cambodia … Darfur … Rwanda … And the Holocaust
All declared, by the United Nations, as …
Acts of Genocide …

And yet … today …
as we walk in the park
as we talk to our friends
as we listen to the rising lark
as we follow the latest trends
as we go about our daily lives
There are Conflicts, which could be declared as …
Acts of Genocides …

Burma, a land of Buddhism …
which teaches a life of Peace, and No Killing or Injuring,
Exploded into the destruction of the Rohingya in Myanmar
And 300,000 people were Torn from Home
And every day … the refugees are too full of fear to return

The Yemen has been a conflict zone since 2014
And 3m people have been Torn from Home
And every day … 13m people are suffering famine

In Syria, there has been a civil war since 2011
7.6m internally displaced … and 5.1m refugees …
have been Torn from Home
and every day … more homes are being reduced to rubble

The war in Afghanistan started in 2001.
And during the years of turmoil,
2.5m refugees have been Torn from Home
And every day … the war still rages

The Toll of the displaced intones with inhumanity

Every refugee is a person
Every refugee is a life
Many are babies … toddlers … children … teenagers …
Who … through no fault of their own …
Have been … Torn from Home

Liverpool Waterfront